Huawei: Despite security issues, we're making progress in U.S. enterprise sales

SHANGHAI--A top Huawei executive said the company continues to make progress in the U.S. enterprise market despite its struggles in selling network equipment to U.S. wireless carriers.

"We have some progress there," said Raymond Lau, a top executive in Huawei's enterprise solutions business, here at the company's cloud computing event.

Lau acknowledged that the U.S. market has proven challenging for Huawei, but he said the company's enterprise group--which sells data centers, servers, platforms and other services and equipment to businesses--has made progress among American customers. He said that Huawei's enterprise sales in the United States have so far focused on "less sensitive areas" but that the company continues to move forward in the space. Specifically, he pointed to the company's April announcement that Newegg, an online electronics retailer that in part sells IT equipment and solutions, will sell Huawei enterprise products to its customers.

Huawei's comments on its U.S. enterprise business are notable in light of a 2012 U.S. government report that labeled Chinese network vendors Huawei and ZTE as security threats that could be used as backdoors for Chinese espionage. Both companies have repeatedly said the claims are without merit. Nonetheless, the report essentially shut down Huawei's attempts to sell its network equipment to Tier 1 U.S. wireless network operators like Sprint.

It's worth noting though that Huawei has managed to rack up equipment sales to a range of smaller wireless network operators in the United States. As FierceWireless reported in May, Huawei counts smaller carriers such as Nemont Telephone's Sagebrush Cellular, SpeedConnect, Union Wireless and United Wireless as customers.

Lau's comments on Huawei's U.S. enterprise were made on the sidelines of the company's Cloud Congress event. At the conference, Huawei announced its new Service Driven-Distributed Cloud Data Center (SD-DC²) for business customers. The company said the new data center "helps enterprises build service-driven IT infrastructure that features key capabilities such as service awareness, business intelligence and unified management." The company said the data center also works with products from third-party vendors.

Huawei also announced its new FusionSphere 5.0 open cloud platform and its OceanStor converged storage system, both of which are "key components" of the company's new SD-DC² architecture. Huawei said FusionSphere 5.0 is based on OpenStack architecture and supports software-defined data center capabilities, cloud-based carrier services and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV). The company said OceanStor "is the industry's first converged storage system" and can help reduce costs by more than 15 percent and improve space utilization by 50 percent over traditional storage systems.

"We want to become a leading IT company," said Eric Xu, Huawei's current CEO.

For more:
- see this Huawei release

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